Alliance chief urges Medicaid policies that cut funding gap

Share this content:

Better policies that bolster Medicaid funding are needed, according to the head of the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care during testimony Monday before the Medicaid Commission.

A delicate funding balance supports the nursing home industry, said AQNHC President Alan Rosenbloom. Currently, Medicare pays for only 12% of residents, but provides 26% of long-term care's revenues. Medicaid, on the other hand, pays for 66% of residents but provides only 50% of revenues. Also, Medicaid residents tend to be sicker and to stay in facilities for longer periods of time. The funding gap is currently $4.5 billion annually. Without changes in payment policy, Rosenbloom cautioned that gap would escalate beyond that.

By year's end, the commission will make final recommendations to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid regarding long-term care payments. Last July, Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt created the commission to identify reforms necessary to stabilize and strengthen Medicaid.